Rule #03: High Risk, High Reward

Rule #03: High Risk, High Reward

Market volatility, government shutdowns, trade wars, walls/slats and Brexit probably have you thinking about what really matters in life: shoes. Unfortunately those tickers scrolling across the floor of your chosen financial screen don't tell you which sneakers will help you through these rollercoaster times.

And by 'help you through', we really mean 'distract you from' those sharp dips and spikes that you can't control with your mouse. Today's kicks are meant to bring a shock to the office. These kicks will tell the nervous folks that you're optimistic and a winner because you know when to put that cash you've been stockpiling to work. Tomorrow you'll go back to your sensible shoes, but today it's time to (insert favorite athletic, heroic cliche here)!!!! It's winning time.

It's the Economy, Stupid

If Rule #01 was about a diverse portfolio and Rule #02 was about low risk opportunities, naturally Rule #03 would be about betting the farm. We trust that if you're reading this newsletter you probably own a fair share of black, brown and white shoes that bore your teenage children. That's a good thing.

As the boss you are expected to be the calm head that knows what to do in the midst of uncertainty. For the most part, your shoes should express that tone.

However, every now and again you need to show that you have a pulse. You need to show that you're not a robot. You need to show that this market volatility has an effect on you like everyone else. You need to show them that there's a little Mayor in your basement.

Let's make that statement positive. Let's roll the dice on a pair of kicks that say you're taking the world head on.

First Steps

Let's start out with something simple. Unassuming at first, the name of this Nike collaboration will tell folks in your office that you mean business - the Air Skylon II Fear of God (US$140 at Need Supply). This is part of the joint venture between the Oregon athletic company and Jerry Manuel - son of a former Major League Baseball skipper. Your first assumption that this shoe will go unnoticed is a mistake. The name says it all.

Tongue Out

When your interns are arguing with your managers about whether MJ would destroy Lebron, you can share your opinion in rose gold with the Jordan 3 for Women (US$180 at Corporate). While the youngsters catch up on some grainy video from 1988, you can kick your feet up with pride.

Please only wear these into the office once a month, because you will shut the place down and your productivity will plummet. Just let people know every once and a while that you can take off from the free throw line on your own. Cigar not included.

Sailing...Take Me Away

First, if you immediately began humming the 1979 Christopher Cross single, you definitely need this newsletter. And your team may need you to wear a pair of these Vans Old Skool "Yacht Clubs" (US$140 at Stadium Goods) to let everyone know that you're relaxed on these crazy waves. You control the rough waters - they don't control you.

While they're respecting your new drip, you might ask them for some new music suggestions so you understand what 'drip' means. (hint: not a dividend reinvestment plan)

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Sometimes you have to be an a$$hole. Plain and simple. Some days you have no friends. Some days you need a little Mamba Mentality. And those days need the right shoes.

So when you walk into the office wearing any color of the Kobe 9 Elite (US$520 at Stadium Goods) people will know you mean business. No need to acknowledge Matt from accounting when he questions your extra Sprite on that last expense report. Just stare him down and watch it get approved.

Never Lost

While you may be tempted to wear a pair of Big Baller Brands into the office, we strongly advise against it because people will tune you out over time - okay, immediately. We suggest another winning attitude - the Adidas Ultraboost collaboration with veteran boutique retailer Undefeated (US$320 at Flight Club). A shoe this bright with UNDEFEATED written across your toes is far from subtle.

Never lost.

Not Here for the Play Play

The Puma Leadcat Fenty FU by Rihana in Scarlet Ibis (US$54 at Corporate) is exactly what you keep under your desk for those occasions when Paul wants to schedule a Friday 4PM meeting to recap whatever Paul thinks can't wait until Monday morning. You know that Paul is right and you value Paul's opinion, but your feet are killing you and Paul needs to know that you are doing HIM a favor.


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Weird Flex but OK

Very rarely is a luxury sneaker the answer. Sneaker aficionados typically scoff at the overpriced knock-offs with the garish hood ornaments or distressed artsy vibes.

The MM1 or Maison Margiela Sub Low is the rare luxury sneaker that will simply get you shrugs of approval. Not exactly cheap (US$767 at Totokaelo) the Sub Low is pretty much an Air Force 1 similar to the Celine version a few years ago. But everything about this shoe - from branding to materials - is on every designers wish list.

Luxury will typically get you mocked, but this is a nondescript Range Rover that no one will complain about. It's that good.

The Dark Side

The Vomero 5 hails from Nike's traditional Bowerman running line. Very boring. But when it's part of a collaboration with A-Cold-Wall by Samuel Ross (US$200 at Kith) then it gets a giant piece of plastic on the heel and ages faster because none of the finishing additives have been added.

Shut up, it's cool. Nike said so.

I'm guessing you won't get 10 years out of this beauty, but for the next 3 months you'll be like Lord Vader when you enter the room.

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Save the World

Last but not least is the shoe that will tell everyone you are a superhero. Available in womens, the Adidas Alphaedge (US$300 at Undefeated) has a Primeknit upper, 4D printed midsole and Continental Rubber outsole. When you come from the future and have superpowers, people have to believe you. And these shoes are from the future.

So let's get our bearings in 2019. In February we'll get back to basics. For now, grab any of these spectacles to help balance out your portfolio of stable commitments. You'll impress your C-suite neighbors and dilute some of that cash you've been stockpiling. All for a good cause - looking good.